I love when trees show up in my mandalas. Trees are a potent symbol of life. Their roots go deep into the earth, grounding the tree in its nutrients. Their branches reach up into the sky, free to move and dance with the winds. Their trunk is the strong core, standing steady and connecting the heavens and the earth.
My Strength Tree mandala is made in honor of the many, many people in my arthritis family. They are the strongest people I know and they inspire me every day. Living with chronic pain and physical limitations, day in and day out is a tough journey. Most people can’t see the struggles they endure every day. They are warriors who get up and put on a happy face even when they are in deep pain. The Strength Tree is inspired by the thought that we (my arthritis friends and I) are all super strong at our core (our tree trunk) despite our physical & emotional pain, loss of mobility and body/joint changes (the gnarled roots and twisted branches).
We can look at the Strength Tree and see that the crooked trunk and twisted branches do not take away from its beauty. It can still provide shelter, shade, nourishing fruit, beautiful leaves, and a strong rootedness in the earth. We can water it with our tears on bad days and sit under it in gratitude on our good days. It is tower of strength and life and I dedicate it to my arthritis family as a reminder of their incredible strength.